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Full text of "Wordeater"

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Bob Frederick 

Jsfesrfe Sal factor 

Save Hso-yife 



Loudx&mth McKracken has dons it again! 
He hBS^eedlmlt cajoled, and dsnaxided as. his 
<hie an entire decade of delectable lfatdmZ$r% « 
'Nbftt a pig -out! " ' ' 

Those of yo« "who. Hke to cater to 
appreciative palates like Loudmouth's casi 
submit your literary concoctions to Jotm 
Stobart :m C 1060. 



When the fare is particularly 
toothsome, Lou&fraDiidfi belches tip literary swards * as he 
did this issue, for Judy Belfield and Mice Stilton* $2 S each* 
Seifield. also designed covets for this issise* 



The next two deadlines for submissions- 
are October I wad December 3* 



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TABLE OF CONTENTS 



Michael A e Stillman 
Judy Bel field 

Mart Dickinson & Dave Moore 

Michael A c Stillman 
Judy Belfield 

Kathy Heller 

Judy Belfield 
Bob Frederick 

Underground Poetry League, 

Ltdo 
R. Walser Yale 
Jo D„ Guse 
David Moore 
Judy Belfield 
Ro Walser Yale 
Bob Frederick 
Norma D. Plume 
Adriane Saylor 
Bob Frederick 
David Moore 

Judy Belfield 
Adriane Saylor 
Michael A„ Stillman 
R« Walser Yale 
M. Eo 

Jo D„ Guse 
Adriane Saylor 
J« D,, Guse 

t! 1! 

M«> E. 

Michaei A. Stillman & 
Melissa Wessell 
Matthew Hennes sy 
Judy Belfield 
Ro Walser Yale 
Judy Belfield 
Ro Walser Yale 
Michael A„ Stillman 
Judy Belfield 

t! II 

Ro Walser Yale 
David Moore 
Adriane Saylor 
Ro Walser Yale 
Bob Frederick 
David Moore 
Ernest McCabe 
Ro Walser Yale 
Judy Belfield 
Adriane Saylor 
Norma D« Plume 
Ernest McCabe 
Michael A„ Stillman 



A Hatful of TiamondSo.oe.o.eoo*. .«o • .<>.•<.<>. ..e. 1 

Setting Things Pdght,.....,.,,.,,,...., *o s 3 

Epilogue to a Mysterious Novel .o««. 5 

David Cartaph, Wanderer.,,,,., *. 5 

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When 1 sat dosm to write 

A Sxi^kaSXy. pen., a ptiaxifym &m 

To fgiiidle em through the night 

Hoxds strolled forth, hand in hend 
To leap «nd Belt like tee 
A dosem £resh~cttt diamond® 
In & heeis of broken light 

A ams« appeared rsritk golden hair 

Wide ajes si §of tly brown 

In' "words of hop& she optm. a web 

d drew the curteds 



She smiled at the sparkle in sk>* ey<& 

That ®e*se let fade with age 

* ( l,i£e Is -jhast « $mt»r** she &&id, 

f'Agsd maturity a. cage*** 

i| preete taeh one 

A dig it t&c& tsro 



Whenever someone asks am, n .Do you hosr-e the time? 1 * 
I ®&y, "For what fe&Rfc¥** v Mier ail, this is the jet 
&ge 5 and people gh&frltf he specific* 

tech treaty- three 

Her words t*&r% soothing, like a carets 
A© aha told me of asy life 
The many current® ia one big pond 
k choice of ne&ee or strife 




presti t&ch £o«r 
digit! t«ch three 



prestidigitator 
t&ch five 



QtMVtttan halite'; Jan. 21", 1959 s 

ymsjf «J*a blink softly 
in the afterglow of 'drears 
will you take s$e' there? 

t&ch stevea 

The eyewitness shivered and took another gulp of. sheep 
medicine* Like a «kid~rov Winston Churchill he told the 
reporters, "F*eele*s it came, end Bible black., wlth.ciasrs 
that reked our souls*" 



(continwod) 



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Timet Checkerboard tiles. Ilk© a. 
crosswes-rd' jmssfel® without a 
cltse. A foastxot tsallroosn xshen 
'all the. d«cers hmr& Left* 
The debtst-sat^s fusve com© a»d 
gone, «r&d Ui.« silver tarnishes 
,fe the saorffi£ng light* 



ited* eighteesa 




Eckwkj passers in ts)id~-deboi».*ir; 
A saast in htB prim, he thinlcsf 
"This is my' life ^ 

A luatglfol of eo&fidetiee 
Gerries Mia to Juliet's doofj 
Opportunity:: ^io"'eo«ld want s&osret 




t&ch eii 



X tsfce a. s$$t as the gsrasw in itant of The daylight aigti$ astd the saoon 

the . old, lady , s&d . .she : .rec£ tea, ^ |$&e&s wi th #$ops hy 

no tf0£&Q s sad does a £os&h&s*ed iBs^t&tioa/ • Tons look so y<mVsg ©&d strong 

pa&t™l'lsge, «!Gocsapanied by three te&'&is*& Slovitfc*' your drems along 

flies. She $©ee tbroi*gh' «a et-afeor&te r£t.*» 

tsal, with detailed it&sseet choreography, <sm~ &?id so 0*1, to £$db tefis&ty. The 

ploylag -odd literary devices X ike pu&H&« Jetstream r<oar& 1st© another jmp~c$t 

dresses «sd aaftm&voas, seeasiagly a g&§ Swat are&llty, sg^id ssfcothes? fresae 'Mvaxice®* 
with a kind of swkwmrd elegasfcce* W© are ttw part- -of -at crossfd <ra&chiag & 

As the third aKsvesjv&at. skids to &a ast« stage set with aosve- fassitiar feels slight* 
ticiiatasj she witaks at» and aaya, ^Tooky* ly eeoestrie^locking individuals* $5c& 
oixe «*•« they're the key* Jteg* ost ana*" Sylaai i#&Xfc» up to the ffiic^opfeosce m& 

She Is SjatersKspted fey a. Jet plsne over*- eayss 
head, efcywritiiig a ateesage. "Skyirritfctg is -'-Tfee is a jet plsaae 

about es subtle as a sle%ehasi8er, M she muen* Xfc wsvps too fewc*** 

blea. The «kywriter writee: To which John Stob&rt added; 

n I thinfe I! have jet tag*" 
"Stia time rolls? hy and the «m»«« yp Theii Kobert Ifesiter s&lds 

high **S&tit& &lowse smhut,tx?nizx<g 

Xtee la a stripper 
Sofe* it jwsfc for ye*u f * 



Hoviri* £s«r d-Xr-eayfeR «.long 



A Hatful of Tiamonds, continued 

David Bowie knew a little more about 
this disreputable wench: 

"Time: She flexes like a whore, 
Falls wanking to the floor, 
Her trick is you and me." 
Mike Stillman interrupted rudely: 
"Time — Hah! Time only matters when 
you're in prison, and space only matters 
when you're in the universe, and matter 
is only timed when you're in space, and — " 

The time line folds in on itself like 
the mystic spiral of Taoism, the cosmic 
mainspring. The spherical vertices meet 



at the center r>f the labyrinth, releas- 
ing everyone ' s personal minotaur , the 
latent and lambent psychosis that is 
the seed of each being's subjective 
reality, for one flashing instant. The 
spiral path in Dante's Purgatorio mesh- 
es with the Escherian Mobius and the 
circular ricercars of Bach's Musical 
Offering through the origin of Time, a 
living mandala. 

A semblance of objective reality 
reasserts itself with a cataclysmic shud- 
der, and sanity makes a sudden return. 
A plane pierces the conic fabric over- 
head, and the crowd dic ,ourGC3c 

tach end 



Judy Belfield 



SETTING THINGS RIGHT 



Technically, she is dead. But she has 
to die again in front of witnesses to make 
It legal. So she is alive, but not really, 
ac she stands in a small, dimly-lit room 
at the end of a long, carpeted hallway. 

At the other end of the hallway, be- 
hind wide, emergency- room- type doors with 
windows, she sees both the witnesses' 
heads. She can't see their faces — they 
are too far away — but she knows who 
they are. 

There is a soft, reclining couch in 
the room, the kind one sees in movie ver- 
sions of psychiatric offices. At either 
end of the couch are lamps, about five- 
feet tall , with translucent ivory shades 
that diffuse a soft pink throughout the 
room. It looks like a wake. How appro- 
priate that is, she thinks. She's being 
waked, literally, so she can die again 
the right way. What is the right way, 
she wonders. 

Perhaps if she had written a note the 
first time, made things clear for those 
she left behind. But she hadn't. It was a 
calculated act in a moment of secret des- 
pair. No one could have understood the 
loneliness, the dejection, the temptation 
of a non-feeling eternity. 

What does it matter now, anyway, she 
asks herself. What is done, is done. This 
reenactment is not only necessary, it is 
tacitly demanded by the questioners — all 
those people who don't know why — or can't 
believe — she is dead. Motions. She 
nnist go through the motions. They are mi- 
nor stopgaps in the way of her rendezvous 
with infinity, but they are inevitable — 
the red tape in the bureaucracy of setting 
things right. 

She settles herself down on the couch, 
folding her hands, fingers intertwined at 
her waist. She waits. It won't be long. 
She thinks about the frilly organdy blouse, 
all ruffly at the neck and wrists. She'll 
put it on later. There will be plenty of 
time. It hangs in a niche .somewhere 



behind her, next to a pair of black 
slacks. The doll's clothes are neat- 
ly folded on a table — white, fragrant, 
soft. She has to dress the doll too. 
But there will be time. 

She had requested Chopin music, 
any piece, as long as it was lively. 
It is not playing now, but it will. She 
waits — calmly, quietly. She glances 
at the doors at the end of the hallway. 
They are still watching. She waves, 
fluttering her long, delicate fingers. 
She smiles. 

"I'm here," say3 a corpulent old 
woman, tiptoeing in with a cloth-covered 
tray. She has a fleshy, motherly face, 
and tightly-crinkled, gray-brown ring- 
lets poking out from under a bandana. 
"Are you ready?" 

"Yes," she answers. 
"Let me explain what's going to 
happen. We don't want any surprises 
here. No need to worry. It won't hurt 
a bit. No pain. Just falling off to 
sleep gently, like the Lord's holy angelc 
gathering you up in soft feathers and 
carrying you away. 

"I'm going to give you an injection. 
You'll hardly feel it. It's a new kind 
of fluid that works ever so sweetly. 
You'll have about an hour. You can get 
dressed then, listen to the music you 
requested, and just relax. Your skin 
will turn a yellowish-translucent color 
as the fluid wo rice its way into your 
system. This will begin at the finger- 
tips and creep up slowly. Don't be 
alarmed. It's perfectly natural. There 
is no pain. Toward the end, you'll feel 
very sleepy. Best for you to lie down 
when the sleepiness starts. 

"Then, you'll just keep on sleeping 
forever. I've heard many of 'em say it 
is euphoric -- pleasant. Well, that's 
it. Do you have any questions?" 

"No . . . I'm ready." The old wo- 
man uncovers the tray and lifts a 

(continued) 



-3- 



Setting Things Right, continued 



syringe in the air. She c.pritzes it slight- 
ly, then injects the fluid- 

"There. All done. Relax. Enjoy it." 
She leaves the room by some unseen side 
door. The witnesses watch through the win- 
dows. 

"It's done," says the first. 

"Oh," says the second..' 

"We'd better not watch now. She'll be 
changing her clothes." 

They pull slowly away from the doors, 
and each finds a plush chair to sit in. 
Their faces are bland. Both women are 
dressed in black and wear veiled hats. 
They sit, seeming to think and feel no- 
thing. They do not move. They appear, al- 
most, not to be breathing. 

Inside, the young woman walks over to 
the niche and begins to dress. Soft, silky 
pastel underthings. Soft, white, knee-high 
stockings. The lavishly-frilled blouse. 
The tailored slacks. Black, patent-leather 
slippers. She is set, perfectly dressed, 
her long, black hair rippling softly down 
her back in large, graceful curls. 

The doll, she thinks, have to dress 
the doll. "But I don't want to — not 
yet." She cannot bear the thought of 
touching it. It had never seemed to live, 
had never been real to her. It was only 
a doll some people called a baby. Yet 
there was an eeriness about it; it was a 
thing that may have had the potential to 
be another thing — a live thing. But all 
tilings are potentially something else, 
aren't they? 

She is troubled by the presence of 
the doll, as she had been once before — 
such a long time ago, it seems now. She is 
**ot supposed to feel any disturbance, any 
pain, yet the doll's presence threatens 
the peace of this second death. So she 
tries to put it out of her mind and lies 
hack down on the couch. "The Polonnai3e" 
begins. Her arms conduct .an unseen or- 
chestra. 

"Look, she's conducting," says the 
3econd witness, who has stepped near the 
window to check on her progress. 

"How nice," says the first witness, 
as she peeps inside. 

"Nice," they agree as they stand at 
the doors. 

"It's Chopin," says the first witness. 
"Just what she wanted." 

"Doesn't she look pretty," says the 
other. 

She is oblivious to them as she becomes 
entranced by the music. She continues to 
revel in it for what seems an age. The wit- 
nesses, tired of watching, take their seats 
again. Surely an hour has passed. They 
sit, mute and motionless for a silent eter- 
nity. Suddenly, the doors swing open. Her 
fingers, which hold the doors ajar, are 
translucently yellowish up to the knuckles. 
Her face shows distress, and the translu- 
cent yellowishness ring3 her eyes and out- 
lines her lips. 

"How can you be. so inhumani" she 



-4- 



shouts near tears. "I cannot die 
alone — not this time.". The witnesses 
stand up. Quietly yet compassionately, 
they escort her into the chamber. 

"Now, now, Don't you worry," 
says the first witness. "We'll stay 
with you." 

"Yes, yes," they both coo gently, 
trying to soothe her. Neither face 
shows any sign of alarm. Both witnesses 
are apparently calm, but the second 
cannot help being somewhat moved. It 
is net quite right that she feels some- 
thing, yet she does. She reaches out 
and hugs the young woman in the soft, 
frilly blouse, kissing her three times — 
twice on the cheek, and once near the 
temple. 

"There, there," says the second 
witness. "It will be all right. It 
won't be long now, I'm sure." This 
faint feeling seems to calm the young 
woman. Her face relaxes, the tension 
dissipates. 

"I ... I can't dress the doll . . 
I just ... just can't," she says. 

"It's all right. I will. Don't 
worry." The second witness walks, over 
to the niche and dresses the doll in 
its pinafore, white and soft, and, as 
she is putting on its socks, she no- 
tices something. The cuffs on the sock3 
are lacy and flower-printed, but the 
flowers on one are red, while the flow- 
ers on the other are brown. 

The first witness, who has been 
observing the dressing ritual, approach- 
es the niche. "It's all right," she 
whispers. "They won't bury the baby 
with her anyway. .Put its shoes on and 
don't say anything." The second wit- 
ness places the doll on the dressing 
table and returns with the first to the 
center of the room. 

The young woman stretches out a 
translucent yellow hand to the second 
witness, which the latter clasps. The 
three of them stand and chat quietly. 

"I feel so tired, suddenly," says 
the young woman. 

"Perhaps you should lie down," 
says the first witness. 

"Yes ... yes. I think I should." 
As she nears the couch, her body slack- 
ens. Since the witnesses have her in 
tow, she does not collapse. They help 
her up onto the couch, where she lies 
down, quite exhausted,, and now, nearly 
all yellow. All this time, the second 
witness never lets go of her hand. She 
holds it still. The young woman is now 
unable to speak. 

The second witness senses something. 
She looks into the young woman's heavy- 
lidded eyes. The irises are. lolling 
lazily up and down under the lids. 

"Think the words you cannot say," 
says the second witness, "and I will hear 
them." The young woman, for only a 
moment, focuses on the second witness , 

(continued) 



Setting Things Right, continued 



smiles, and closes her eyes forever. The 
second vitness walks over to the niche, 
picks up the doll, and brings it to the 
dead woman's side, making a cradle for it 
in her still-flexible, left arm. After the 
stiffness settles into the young woman's 
body, her left arm will remain crooked 
just so, in a cradle position, whether 
they bury the baby with her or not. 

The first 'fitness begins to weep. The 
second's face seems impassive. But she 



had heard the words, and there wa3 no 
pain in them, no agony of separation, 
no regret. She smiles. 

"No. There are no words. There 
were no words the first time — only a 
too empty aloneness. I am not alone 
this time. I know of no better worlds 
to which I might fly, and so, I leave 
in peace, facing a comfortable void. ■_ 

"Goodbye, my friends. 1 ^ 



******** 



Mart Dickinson & David Moore 

EPILOGUE TO A MYSTERIOUS NOVEL 

This is the last page of this book, 

beware smiling dogs, 
Don't touch it . . . it's evil 

And Humpty Dumpty fell from the wall 
Look into his yolk stained eyes, 

The yellow oozing from the cracks 
Sweep him up, 

Tape him together, 
Oops! Don't forget the naughty bits 
Stupid! You got it on backwards 
Life is backwards 
Backwards is life 
This is the first page of this book, 

beware of f ro^mins dogs . . . 
Touch it . . . it feels so good 

The sky goddess descends 
Look into her brilliant green eyes 
Rainbows issue from the orbs, 

broken down into components of energy 
The mind flies freely 

Oh nol It left the id behind 
Fooli The aura has been scrambled 
Death goes forward 
Forward goes Death 

This is the last page of this book 
Beware the smiling dogs 

As they phase into limbo 

Leaving luminous, grinning fangs, 
and rabies 

******** 



Michael A. Stillman 



DAVID CARTAPH, WANDERER 



David Cartaph woke U p and rubbed his 
eyes. "Sunny and less humid today, with 
highs in the upper 70* s," announced the 
clock- radio on the nightstand, blinking 
7:30 a.m. He shut it off and padded to 
the bathroom. 

The tile felt cool under his feet as 
he stretched and remembered his appoint- 
ment with Tynsdale. His bleary eyes look- 
ed into the hinged mirror, splattered with 
the toothpaste of a casual bachelor, and 
he tried to recall his interrupted dream. 



He opened the medicine cabinet and 
expl— 

David Cartaph woke up and rubbed 
his eyes. He shut off his alarm clock 
at 7:24 and considered trying to recap- 
ture the dream that had been abruptly 
cut off. He decided against it and 
padded to the bathroom. 

The tile felt cool under his feet 
as he stretched and thought about the 
morning appointments. With a glance 
into the splattered mirror, he opened 

(continued) 



-5- 



• 



David Cartaph, Wanderer, continued 

the medicine cabinet and expl — 

David Cartaph woke up and rubbed his 
eyes. He turned the radio on, and it 
boomed the sermon of a fundamentalist 
preacher, voice dripping -with righteous- 
ness, "Yes, my brethren j we all know the 
story of the Wandering Jew. Let us learn 
from his example„ Because he blasphemed, 
the Lord Jesus on the road to Calvary, he 
is doomed to wander an eternity, through 
all of time and — " 

Space, he thought, as he turned off 
the radio. Time and Space. The matrix in 
which I live my life. Well, Space is cer- 
tainly more important than Time, especially 
on my day off. Maybe I can have another 
good dream. 

Deciding to go back to sleep, he 
straightened the pillow, turned over and 
expl — 

David Cartaph woke up and rubbed his 
eyes. The clock-radio had interrupted a 
particularly enjoyable dream with an ob- 
noxious chorus of dogs yelping "Jingle 
Bells". He tried to recall the date while 
he stumbled to the bathroom. 

He kicked off his slippers and squint- 
ed into the mirror, wondering about the 
day's schedule. He opened the medicine 
cabinet and expl — 

David Cartaph woke up and rubbed his 
eyes. "Sunny and less humid today, with 
highs in the mid 70' s, and no rain in the 
forecast," said the clock-radio in a plea- 
sant baritone. He noted the time, 9:10, 
as he padded to the bathroom. 

The tile felt cool under his feet as 
he wondered what time his wife would wake 
up. Hie bleary and reddened eyes squinted 
into the mirror. He opened the medicine 
cabinet and explored the cluttered shelves, 
looking for something to clear his head. 
Picking out a small brown bottle that he 
hadn't noticed before, _he unscrewed the 
lid and expl — 



David Cartaph woke up and rubbed 
his eyes. Glancing at the clock, he 
rolled over and went back to dream. 

He stood on an ocean of pebbles , 
cool and placid. He was buried to hie 
knees, and alone except for the bird 
circling overhead and the Sun diffusing 
through the fog. 

Picking up a handful of the stones , 
he noticed thalj each tiny glofce~had its 
own pattern of irregularities* and pock- 
marks. He wondered if perfection would 
make each gray pebble into an identical 
sphere, erasing its individuality. 

Thunder pulsated across the land- 
scape and through his temples. He was 
blinded as he looked up at the Sun, 
impossibly large now on the ceiling of 
the sky. Its brilliance grew and then 
it plummeted screaming out of the hea- 
vens, directly at him. He tried to run 
as the Sun expl — 

David Cartaph woke up and rubbed 
his eyes. He got out of bed and stretch- 
ed, reaching for the ceiling and yawn- 
ing. He glanced out the window and no- 
ticed that the house across the street 
still had its porch light on. He turned 
and padded to the bathroom. 

The wooden floor felt hard under 
his feet as he gazed into the hinged 
mirror, splattered with the toothpaste 
of a casual bachelor. He opened the 
medicine cabinet and exploded into dozens 
of fragments, which splattered across 
the walls, floor, ceiling, and mirror. 
As the echoes d£ed, someone turned off 
the porch light across the street. 

David Cartaph woke up and rubbed 
his eyes. He rolled out of bed and 
expl — 



Judy Belfield 



MA 



"Ma's crazy," 

we all say 

as we feel her apron strings 

flutter about our hearts — 

and we grab hold 

to follow where she flies. 

And though she never owned an apron, 

we see her in all the living rooms 

of our yesterdays, 

cracking chewing gum 

in her world of books 

and family 
and art. 
We hear her lunatic cackle 

as she slaps her thigh s 
and stonps her_feet 



when the snickerbug bites — 
but we also hear tears that crash 
like the ocean's resounding fury - 
and we remember 

as though they were our own. 
There are words we've never said, 

and words we've never heard — 
but they were only baubles 
we never needed. 



******** 



-6- 



Kathy Heller 



REFLECTIONS W A NURSING HOME 'MIEROR 



This nirror must be cloudy! 

(Oh, that reminds me! I must get new 
glasses soon, 

...ny dentures tightened. ..ny aid 
re tuned. . . ) 
Who's looking back at ne?? 

She looks a bit lij^e ne, I see, 
and Very much like ny mother,. 
But I don't look like that — 
she's old — 

I'm still the sane, I'n still ne, 
just like when I was 33, and 53, and 

63. 
I'n ne, and I will always be 
the sane. This body's cheating ne. 

I have no regrets. 

I've done it all... I wont to school — 
I married well — (I was no fool!)- but 
My children were ny precious jewels; 
When they left home I took a job. 

We were alone, then, Ben and I. 

We didn't talk much, what's left to 
say? 

I always knew that he'd die 

first — he'd never get along without 
ne. 

It seems a lifetime since last May. 

God! I wish that I could say "I 

loved you" and know that he'd hear ne! 

I noved in with ny children — 

where else would I go? 

first with Jenny. . . 

♦ihen with Joe... « 
But it didn't work out. 
Too noisy, you know. 
It wasn't meant to be. 

Actually, it seened all right to no. 

The little ones were such a joy — 

two little girls, one little boy 

who looks just like his mother. 

There is no better gift in life 

Than the time we gave each other. 

We'd go for walks; we'd make mud pies; 

We'd tell silly, nonsense lies. 

When Kim fell down, she'd always cry 

until I came to kis3 her. 

Now, if she'd come visit me 

I'd tell her how I miss her. 

We're a lot alike — the kids and me — 
Their parents have no time, you see 

to listen — though they talk at us, 

and tell us what to do. 

Don't their ears work? 

Just their tongues? 
Tilings sure have changed since we wore 

young. 
Ben, they didn't learn that from us. 

Then, things got strange. 

Lord! What a change! 
I really lost control — 

I'd laugh, then cry — I don't know 
why! 



(I tell you, friend — and I don't 
lie! — 
if you can, then you should try 
to never let yourself grow old. ) 
I'd wet myself — just like the kids! 
-then think "Shame on me for what 
I did." 
But these tears^ afe not for me — not* 
yet — 

they're for little bottoms I 
spanked when wet. 
Why is there shane for "no control"? 

Why do we punish the young, or old? 
We try to do as we are told... 
We'd be dry, if we could be. 

What happened? 

Did sone Halloween 'witch 
cone along and make the switch? 
I can't tell now which is which — 
An I daughter? Am I mother? 
When did I become the other? 

Sonetines I think that I'n not real — 

ny ears don't hear, ny skin can't 

feel — 

Maybe that's why ny tears won't heal, 

Why won't they dry up too? 
Now the "highs" cone easier, and the 

"lows"; it's just that I don't 

show it. 

I don't want the kids to know it. 

I used to think — if you lived life 

right -- . ,^_ 

you'd be at peace.. .you'd sleep at 
night. 
Now I'n not sure that I was right 

and sonetines I'n afraid. 
The nights are long. So are the days. 
The songs I used to sing in praise 
are disconnected phrase by phrase 
and take on different neaning. 
Was it all a joke? To keep us in line? 
We'd have our babies, do our jobs 
with faith our painkiller, our wine — 
Dear God! snother thoughts like mine! 
I need you to be real! 
within my soul, at least, I still 
can feel. 

"We want you to be happy, Mom," they 

say, 

when they come to visit me each 
fourth Sunday, 

and so I am. 
I smile (so that they'll stay). 

They'll never see ne cry. 

Isn't it time yet to die? 

They never even kiss me. 

I'm the only one who'll ever miss me. 



******** 



-7- 



Judy Belfield 



DEATHWATCH 



Clustered together in darkness, 

night- shadowed and swell-bellied with rain, 

the trees groan 

as a wet wind moans, 

and their arthritic fingers crack 

with the sign language 

which tries to tell the tragic secret 

known by the birds and field nice 

who scattered insanely away 

when deathscreams shattered their waking rituals 

at daybreak yesterday. 
A sneakered foot lays silent 
on the dank, black soil, 
which sucked away an ocean of blood 

from the child who was but a dewdrop, 
and slick, green leaves twitch, flutter, 

and pass by the face tx/isted in terror, 

its gaping eyes seeing nothing 

but an eternal void -- 

no yesterdays to tantalize, 

nor daisy- chained tomorrows, 

but only drunken earth beneath, 

belching forth its beetles and worms. 
The trees wear weeds and wail — 
waiting and watching, 
they stand in the moonless night, 
their feet entangled with decay, 

and there will be no consolation 

when the sunlight filters through* 



Bob Frederick 



LIFE 



******** 
The Underground Poetry League, Ltd. 

WELCOME TO THE UNDERGROUND 

Deep... 

Deep within the bowels 
Of our earthly prison 

There is 
A creature. 

Solitude 

Is his constant test 
And the silence 

Is the only music 
On his imaginary stereo dial. 

The only men 

He could' ve ever 
Broken his silence with 

Untimely 

Dead, 

Day to day 

He might write 
A verse — 

A line... 
For no one. 



Trying to be free 
Hoping to be loved — 
Not feared — 
Hollow 

and angry 

■ '■■ f rt f- .*- 1i T --i*—' — '- 



R. Walser Yale 



LOST IN MESSAGES 



Lost in messages 

No place for the musical 

Sound of interconnecting 

Consonants and vowels 

Of beautiful, simplistic 

Enormity. 

Grasp the beauty. 

Grapple with love. 

Let the xronder 

Of each secret 

Body slam the abstraction 

Of your mind. 

Then, numb — 

Stand , 

Shake, 

Gasp — and applaud 

The burlesque spectacle 

Of life. 

And with a sedative 
Broom of passing years 
Gently sweep away 
Your salty tears 
Into cloudy pools 
Of yesterdays* 

******** 
J. D. Guse 



On his door 

For no one 
A sign reads: 



"Welcome to the underground." 



SLOGAN FOR JUDY B„ 

Nobody' 3 right 

And Nobody ' s wrong 
Cause people with imaginations 

Keep affecting the picture. 



******** 



-8- 



David Moore 



S0LIPSI5T SONG 



Schoec, echoes, echoes, echoes in the darkness 
Bouncing 

' dead-end alley ways 
Howling against the solid back-drop 

Blinding all those vulnerable perceptions 

1 ! ! Let There Be Light ! I I 

All the world is a sphere 

And all the men and women merely projections 
Of this roughshod, rumpled mind 
cancing before my solitary existence 
Puppets on my psychic strings 
For I am the lord, my god 
I am so bored, I'm god 

Ho hum 
Like wow man, I'm god today 
So I just sit around watching the tube 
Altering the scores slightly 
And changing the random script in idiot ways 
Guaranteed to confuse the pulpy brains 
Of my frivolous characters 
Who have no independence 
Who are merely regurgitations 
Of ray nauseated inner self 
For I have been withering with illness 
The nonsense of my life 

A madness that slithers through my mentality 
And spews out, gushing into reality 
I am that reality 
Nothing has objec tive existence 
Because I cannot prove that the All 
Can "be" without Me 

Everything is spawned in the cool clear void 
By my "ill alone 
I'm god today 

Even on Sundays 

I watch ray 

football 

******** 
Judy Belfield 

THIS GRAY HOUR 

This gray hour 

is like a velvet coverlet, 
enveloping me in its soft sadness, 
suffocating my heart — 

I cannot feel, 

and so my pen sheds tears. 
The hour will soon be gone, 
but its essence is trapped 
in f r agile, tissue wrappings — 

a gift to myself 

for some future night 

when all is quiet and dark 

and purple and alone 

and endlessly reflective. 
Then , perhaps , 

I frhall be able to weep. 



Ro Walser Yale 

LITTLE TENT 

The earth is a pup tent 
Near the mansion 
Of eternity. 

How we love to sit 

In our little tent 

And marvel 

At its four clever walls 

And its door . . . 

That neatly zips shut. 

We bask 

In its filtered sunglight 

In the name of wisdom. 

We laugh — 

We spoiled 

Who zipped out 

The one who pitched it. 

We think we're roughing it, 
But we're only children 
Playing in a numb little tent 
In eternity ' s backyard* 

******** 



Bob Frederick 

THE DARK MUSE 

Warm and bright, as 
midnight skies 

In my arms, the 

Dark muse lies 

Siren of the 

Endless night 
Answer to my 

mortal plight. 

Beautiful for 

all to see 

Skin of purest 
Ebony 

Much more lovely 

Than the rest 

Let me suckle 

at your breast 

Unmatched beauty 
you possess 

Take me in your 

warm caress 



Loving you with 
-9- my last breath 

Mnke me yours 

beloved Death. 



******** 



Norma D. Plune 



SHADOWS DANCING 



Shadows in the doorways of ray nind 

Floating just beyond touch, within thought; 

Shadows with glittering gold bands Bob Frederick 

Upon their misty fingers . * • • f • 

JANUARY 16, 1982 
Elusive personalities of my past, 

Haunting ray hesitant emotions Alnoct twenty . three 

Wearing those damned rings. M o - £riend tho ronfl 

To shine throughout my dreams, ^ do T Qtni pretond 

tt- u , t , , , , , It's worth it 

wish that I could close those doors, r . 
Shut out those cold wraiths of my past, Chasing illusions 
Deprive them the ecstasy j^u^^^u^ 

Of my pain, 

******** 

Adriane Say lor 



IN MEMORIAM, WE, 



David Moore 
ON THE FRINGES OF A FINAL AGONY 



Why do we gather here 

faced as we are with the unliving reality how rude 

of a life taken from us this untimely hour? after all that time we invested in you 

Who do we come to mourn and ^ OU r brains out you blew 

in this place filled with memories and go slow go slow go slow 

done up with wreaths of tears interwoven and up the pieces pick 

with the roses of life? poke them softly with a stick 

Who are we burying in this earth but with a ten foot pole 

still wet with rain and even now touch not the soft and 

giving birth as we return this corpse „. , quivering mass 

to its arms; , of ravaged psyche lapping" up 

Why are we come here to bear this once warm flesh the juices of misery 

before these eyes of men and women who you chewed off more than you could 

must go on bite my nameless friend 

in spite of this diminished spirit and this so you seek a final end 

sudden fear? by twisting rounc". the bend 

We gather here to say to ourselves there is want not what you waste lest 

a reason, you hatch the counted chickens 
we hope together for safe passage for our 

comrade who has left to love discord 

our lives to open wide the door we only with calm accord 

glimpse in dreaming as they burn french postcards 
and relinquish as we wake. 

We mourn our days so short and so long for one know3 to take one 

and so suddenly sweet because they are what else said. he needed?? 

all we have,, 

We come knowing that we die, ******** 
believing as we put the dead away from sight 
that we live more gloriously than they. 

We put stones on our eyes and turn, down- our dreams*.. 

******** 

David Moore 

SOUL J3ERIES A 

A soul, a souli 

Wind-up war machine 

to be pitted against coci&ty — 

the plenura that is barren 

(continued) 



-10- 



Soul Seriec A, continued 

Set ny toy free 

Let the explosive tenoion that energizes it 

propel it over the rocky plateaus and mountains 

of Imagination and Experience 
until it grinds itself to dust 
against the blank faces of unyielding stone 
of reality in-itself 
on the shelf 

Soul si Souls! 

Wage battle » gainst each other 

on the mountaintops unmovingly unaware 

With allies, and even alone 

Trying to find Wisdom's bones 

Caught in a cwirl 

Fly through a whirl 

Of chaotic, drifting life 

And we descend from this desert Valhalla 
Aal battered and weary 

will another be there to offer hope 

unto those too tired to embrace it 

II 

Why have you stolen my soul? 

It was such a funny little trinket 

I kept it locked in a stainless steel vault 

With my plastic army soldiers 

And petrified wood 

But now and again I would tenderly remove it 

And play with it 

And cuddle it 

Even though it was a useless relic 

Obsolete in today's moralized decadence 

But you 

Oh great three-eyed lizard lord 

Spawned in the prime of the evil sameness 
Came and spirited away my toy soul ', ,., r _ 

And took it to your pyramid temple 
That squatted Maya-like on an unreal island 
Floating 'cross emerald waters calmly 

Why have you stolen my soul? 

You have so many of them already 

Little balls of blazing life-force 

Used as book-ends to prop up 

Your ancient, dark, and nenninglecc tones 

Purloined from the private libraries 

Of black and brooding cosmic entities 

My poor little soul! 

My poor little soul! 

Now a book marker for a chortling reptile 

III 

(Monologue of the 4-eyed lizard lord) 

"I collect souls you know. I got There's all sorts of discarded souls ly- 

whole heaps of 'em back at the temple. My ing around. But sometimes you have to 

closets are stuffed full of souls that I steal them. You see, a few human beings 

picked up hither and thither in all sorts actually cherish their souls. They keep 

of odd places. I keep the higher quality then locked up in tiny, dark safe places 

in big piles out in plain sight, even so the poor things can't go out and play 

when visitors stop by for afternoon tea. in the traffic. But these souls cannot 

They envy ny collection of souls, having be protected from me, just from life, 

none of their own. But then, these I am master soul thief after all, and 

friends of mine don't know where to look* thus I creep away with yet another 

You have to hunt through the garbage dumps prize under my arm. I am quite pleased 

and trash bins of the race called man. with myself under such conditions, the 



(continued) 



-11- 



Soul Serieo A, continued 



thrill of the chase coursing through ny 
veins. Sometimes I even have my beot 3ouls 
put in stasis, stuffed and nounted so to 
speak, and placed in my game room. 



"Well, I must go now. I have im- 
portant projects to attend to. Ta-tn, 
and happy ."hunting I" 



Adriane Saylor 



SHE CHANGES 

Something startled her, 
a faint 6ound, barely percepti- 
ble, but enough to make her eyes 
focus. Ah, she thought it is 
the dream again. Her pulse 
filled the tiny world of her 
sleep, growing, meshing, until 
sound was motion. Ah, she 
thought, now it will happen, 
now, now! From some vantage 



point she saw the beast, moonwhite, 
perfect in the lush forest. He 
pawed the earth, sending 
ripples through her sleeping 
body. Her heart hammered 
in her chest and her mouth 
was dry. Invisible, she 
approached the magnificent 
beast. Sometimes it was white, 
as it was tonight, other times 
it was the color of caramel candy. 

Little puffs of white blew from its 
nostrils and she wondered if it was cold. 
She couldn't see herself, but she knew 
she was smiling, knew her eyes gleamed in 
the beams of moonlight that illuminated 
the beautiful horse. Horse, that was What 
it wa3 ! She wanted to ride , yes , she would 
ride, forever, she wouldn't come back this 
time. The horse raised its head, fixing 
her with its charcoal colored eyes, milk- 
white nana .flipping and falling back to the 
misty colored neck. Strange,, this part of 
the dream. Always the same. She mounted 
the horse, but she never saw herself riding 
There was the powerful beats of his heart, 
the heat, the empty/ dropping; feeling when 
she started the climb and rounded the dark- 
ness and came into the little clearing. 
Then, there was the exhilaration, the to- 
tal orgasmic joy as the light fell on him 
and she saw fully how magnificent, how per- 
fect, how ideal he was. Yet, she never 



Judy Delfield 

HER EYES CARRY THE TRAGEDY 

Her eyes carry the tragedy 

like a smoke-tinted glas3 box held high 
for all to step up near enough and see 
the aching, 

futile aching, 
once a desperate agony — 

a fatal vivisection — 
healed over now, 
but like the liar sea, 

its fluttering face rippling gently, 

while all the rages of hell beset its belly 
Her eyes, like smoke, like glass, 

like neverending, wispy, floating curlicues, 
yet like jagged, sharp, shattered crystal, 

whisper a wordless aching — 

there are no phrases left to tell the tears 

that bled with screams 

down the walls of her 30ul — 

the tears, 

now stayed within a deathstained chamber. 
Still she weeps where no eye sees, 
years after, 
and years after those, 
until her eyelids drop suddenly, 

and close, the secret over forever. 



******** 

It was always ever too soon. He'd 
simply vanish, and with him the clear- 
ing, the night. It left her ctrangcly 
sad, to wake up, tangled in the stieetc, 
her eyes trying to shut out the day- 
light, the light he could not exist in* 
She always awoke at the same time, the 
time of morning when the last star was 
winking in her window. Her eyes feast- 
ed on the pale orange at the bottom of 
the beginning aqua and the receeding vio- 
let. Sometimes she sat for the full 
hour and let her eyes be filled and then 
dazzled by the brilliance of the sun 
exploding over the blue lip of the sky. 
Occasionally she'd go back to sleep, but 
he never came back and when she woke up, 
the house was full of light and she had 
to get out of bed. 

She'd spend the day haunted, dis- 
tracted, barely listening to the world 
sounds around her. She searched for 
proof, little out of place occurrences 



saw herself. At the time though she never 
wondered about it, just enjoyed, voyeuristi- that would let him exist in her world 
cally seeing the muscles bunch under the of blare and light. She looked for 
fluid skin, the beads of sweat jewellike someone who reminded her of his naked 
in the light of the clearing. beauty. She rode the bus to and from 

(continued) 



-12- 



She Changes, «cmtiwued 

work in a kind of dreoay daze, listening 
to the beautiful sound of her breathing, 
her heart, her blood going through her 
body on ita red mission of life. 

Once, ohe stopped before a depart- 
ment store window to look at a picture of 
a unicorn. It was a cheap imitation of 
a famous print, but she was mesmerized., 
She barely noticed when a man came to the 
window and removed the picture, replacing 
it with one of a bikini-clad \7onan who 
smiled qjt , "her defiantly fi?om the middle 
of a group of other bikini- clad women. 
She caught the eyes of the man before he 
went away. His eyes were blue, the color 
of a wool sweater she had once owned, but 
there was no warmth in these eyes. He 
still held the picture of the unicorn, 
and when he saw her interest, he appeared 
to drop it, laughing when her eyes follow- 
ed his motion. Her face burned, and she 
looked down at the sidewalk. A couple of 
men'pa3sed, glancing at her and at the 
picture in the window. She pulled up the 
collar of her coat and hurried away. She 
walked for a couple of blocks, letting the 
cold air dispel her unaccountable shame 
and her sudden anger. The image of the 
unicorn burned in her mind. She thought 
of going back to the store, ignored it, 
once turned, then turned again following 
a huddle of people Into a restaurant she 
often went to. 

The warmth and moist smells of corned 
beef and the tangy smell of mustard cut 
into her chilled nostrils and seemed to 
go straight to her stomach. She stood at 
the edge of the deli, feeling her toes in- 
side of her boots tingle with regained 
warmth. 'Her eyes searched the crowd*, fo- 
cusing on no one in particular. Always she 
hoped she'd find... what, someone different, 
someone w ho gleamed. She walked slowly to 
the booth she always chose, the one near- 
est the back, with the gold-veined mirror 
that caught all of the conversation and 
false opulence of the lunchtime office 
crowd. She stared immobile and unmoved at 
the sleek heads of the secretaries , their 
mouths like red plastic balloons. They 
pouted over their coffee, and bit into the 
delicate croissants with long white teeth 
too perfect for belief. With them, were 
their polished twins , men who inhaled the 
grey air they blew officiously into the 
room from slim white cigarettes that ap- 
peared in their manicured hands from no- 
where it seemed. The buzz of business 
hummed around her and eventually faded in- 
to one monotonous tone, punctuated some- 
times by the shrill giggle or the rough 
chuckle of a businessperson. The waitress 
came to take her order. She read the menu 
without seeing it, looking for something 
that wasn't there. A drink from Xanadu, an 
exotic taste that would take her to the 
clearing again and fill her with its luxur- 
iant light. The wai tress stood with her 
pad and pencil waiting, trying to get a 
look at hercelf , surreptitiously, in the 
mirror. 



Eventually the menu slid to the 
table, producing no magical dishes, juct 
the usual reuben sandwich, fish sand- 
wich with swiss cheese; she'd thought 
that was different when she first or- 
dered it, and sometimes an eclair for 
dessert. Today she might order the 
crab salad. The elegant women who came 
in with their silver haired companions, 
who smoked the colored cigarettes and 
left little pink lip-prints on the coffee 
cups .ordered -that. She sat at the back 
of the delicatessen and watched them come 
in, floating on a wave of expensive per- 
fume. They'd stop in the center of the 
room, letting all eyes take in the plush 
coats they wore and the eyes would glit- 
ter , adding up the prices, prices, prices 
of the jewels on the strangely youthful 
necks and arms. Then the white beauties 
would sink into the varnished chairs, 
and immediately the waitress would ap- 
pear to take the order that would al- 
ways be crab salad and iced tea. The 
pink meat went into the pastel mouths 
bite by carefully taken bite and iglide 
down the long necks like pieces of para- 
dise, followed by a sip of cold iced tea, 
even in March. 

"I'll have the crab salad and iced 
tea today," She said the words precisely. 

"Sorry, we're out of that, how 
about..." She looked the waitress up 
and down the way she'd seen the secre- 
taries do, but stopped when she came to 
the silent, glazed stare. It wasn't her 
fault she could not produce ambrosia for 
this stranded woman. She smiled and 
glanced over the sleek heads again, found 
a* litter of something that looked ap- 
pealing on one of the tables that had 
just been vacated by two startlingly hand- 
some businescpeople. 

"I'll have what they, what she had." 
She closed the menu and the waitress 
swished away. She relaxed into the cush- 
ioned protection of the booth and let 
her eyes travel the room. Never watch- 
ing the time, she pretended she would 
never go back to work, would just 
vanish and never be heard of again. She 
was thinking of where she'd go, when the 
waitress suddenly appeared at her table. 
She was trying to hide a blush that 
bloomed on her fragile skin, as she prof- 
fered a slim, white envelope. It fell to 
the table and rested there, as cool as a 
snowflake, a faint gleam illuminating it. 
The heartbeat again, the sound of hooves. 

"Will you join me?" was the message 
on the single white card. It looked en- 
graved, considered, as if much time had 
gone into carving the delicate v/riting 
on the polished face of the card. Yet, 
it 3eemed 30 spontaneous. She smiled, 
her eyes darting around the room. 

The salad arrived and she barely 
tasted the tuna that filled her mouth, 
or the cold tea that raced behind it like 
an icy river. She was searching for him, 
for the gleaming dream. 

(continued) 



-13- 



She Changes, continued 



Dy the time she finished, the sound 
of her heart was all she heard. If the 
waitress had not glared at her before she 
left, she'd have slipped out without pay- 
ing. She squeezed out of the moist, pun- 
gent atmosphere of the delicatessen and 
into the bitingly cold day. 

The note danced in her pocket, it 
skipped, it hummed, telling of wonders 
she let fill her mind. She swirled, ig- 
noring all who turned to watch her pro- 
gress down the sidewalk. She would not go 
back to the office, she would not go home, 
she... 

A gleam in the middle of a crowd, the 
sound of hooves pounding pavement. 

"Wait, wait, I've come. Wait!" Run- 
ning, running, cold air pushing in, push- 



ing out warmth. A red glare, a yellow 

ribbon, her sight going, going out. A 

sound of hooves. 

"Lady, wait, lady..." The charcoal 

eyes fixed her, warm and inviting, she 
went. 

"...never even saw me, never even 

saw me.. ." 

Now she could see who she was. She 
was a naked, slim woman with hair the 
color of mist and a powerful body beneath 
her. She saw orange light approaching 
and knew she had to run. She touched her 
foot to the earth and felt it crunch and 
give way. A sound startled her and sud- 
denly, the trees were rushing past her, 
but this time, she knew who was carrying 
her into the brilliant glare of the clear- 
ing. It was herself. 



******** 



Michael A. Stillman 



M. E. 



TO A JEALOUS FRIEND 

Infer an implication, 

Was it just imagination, 

Did you really hear your love go 

Splat? 

But you say you're the best, 

Ahead of all the rest, 

Can you really fit your head into a 

Hat? 

Is trust a word on a bank, 

A type of girdle for the flank, 

An accusation when the spark goes 

Flat? 

You think she's just a prancer, 
Paranoia enhancer, 
And it won't last long like 
That — 

Splat? 

******** 

R. Walser Yale 



LOVE — THE WOMAN 

Love is not responsible. 
She is reckless. 

She is obstinate 

Not patient. 

No. 

Patiently 

Obstinate. 

She gives Hell 
To those who 
Would suppress her. 

And who am I 

To tell the woman 

I don't need her? 



-14- 



UNTITLED 

Relationships come 

and relationships go 
But what of a 

"Lasting friendship" 

I feel the first breeze of Spring 

But I shiver 
At the cold and lonely prospect 

Of facing tomorrow 
Without the ones 

Who I assumed, falsely, 
Needed my company 

"Be there when I need you" 

Love is blind 

But lust is bloody deaf 
Unninding of the cries 

Of its bystanders 

One, 

And sometimes all 
Are forsaken for another 

Without regard to 
Mental anguish 

Or other such 
Unimportant emotions ... 

******** 

J. D. Guse 

OBSERVATION #37 

There's a woman over there 

Enjoying the company of her friends. 
She shows a smile 

Of warmth and acceptance. 
It hurts 

To 3ee you trapped 
By friends 

Who have their own needs to fulfills 
Freedom never comes to those 

Who wait for it to whi ck- them away. 
-Tt- iirth e TQ. for the taking. 

******** 



Adriane Saylor 



FLYING 



->#■■«*■*• 



I could believe I had wings, 
and that I was soaring, lost among 
the clouds like a leaf blown on an 
updraft from the ground; 
I could believe that I xras part of 
the golden thread of the sun that '• » 
loops down and hooks ny eyes so 
that I must follow upward, searching when 
it dionppears in a sky hole, 
I could believe that I an not a body 
on the earth at all, that I an just a dream, 
a heart endlessly beating love, 
endlessly loving, endlessly leaping toward 
the joy that love nay bring, 
and plunging fron the inescapable pain. 
I can know that I an just a feeling, 
coursing in the wind of a beautiful nonent, 
/ m( jhold onto it for its sweet brevity, 
until it dies. 

I can know that I share the world with you 
and your dreans and your aspirations and 
your heartbeat and your breath blown out 
in praise of the sane beauty I can see. 
I can touch the string of a kite and 
be electrified and flown away, 
knowing that sonewhere, you are dreaming too.. 



J. D. Guse 

CHRISTMAS WITH NO NEW YEAR IN SIGHT 

I?m Having myself a nerry little* "*~~ 
Christmas 

even T 7ithout her here. 
Although, the physical could not attend, 

there is a lasting imprint, 

a perfection of sorts; 

like the angels we nade 

like the presents we gave 

like the songs that we sang; 

they all hold tight inside ny head. 
I am more relieved that they do, 

I wish that winter would last forever, 
because I never want 
the angels she made 
in the snow of my mind 
to melt away. 

******** 



M. E. 



J. D. Guse 



SIISRI'S SONG 
(WITH NO MELODY AS OF YET) 

Within my mind 

is a dark tunnel 

with cob-webbed frames 

with remembrances inside. 

Each frame holds a picture. 

Each picture holds a smile. 

Each smile holds a memory, 

And the nenories are not pleasant. 

They tell of times when I was: 

too ignorant to abide friendship 

too overpowering with love 

too understanding of rejection. 

But somehow it seems fitting 

that one dusty portrait 

is wiped clean of all its cob-webs. 
And her day-glow smile 

and sunburst eyes 

come bursting through the bureaucracies 
of my life. 

She has power ... 

... jumper cables for my dead poetic 
battery. 
She is the twinkling morning star at sun- 
rise, 
pulling the sun up off the horizon, 
and letting him know 

that his warmth can be knoxvn to others 
if only his fires bium bx-ight enough within. 
Thank you, Sheri. 

-15- 
******** *"^ 



LEIGH 

Hold your head high, 

Little one, 
Aftd you 'stand' 

Tall as the trees 
For no heart beats 

So very strong with love 
As this one 

Within you. 

******** 

Michael A. Stillman and 
Melissa Wessell 



COUNTERPOINT 

So little 
comes around. 

I remember 
A night of sanity. 
Was it the earth's, 
Or was it the sky's, 
Or x/as it the sparks 
As we grew together 
In the same room? 

I I ..1--I — l„T.-t-.t- 



Matthew Hennessy 



THE ORB 



I had been riding almost all night, 
when suddenly I saw a campfire ahead* I 
cautiously approached the camp* The camp 
was by aspens, but I was close enough to 
see it now. 

I dismounted and drew my laser pistol 
from my holster, I stealthily worked my 
way through the trees, until I was stand- 
ing at the perimeter of the camp. I no- 
ticed a man squatting near the fire. He 
was cradling a cup of coffee in his hands, 
his back to me. 

I started forward again, when sudden- 
ly his voice stopped me. He spoke softly, 
but his voice carried easily in the night 
air. He said, "how's about putting your 
laser away and having a cup of coffee with 
me?" 

This was totally unexpected. I didn't 
know what to do. So, after thinking for a 
few seconds, I holctered my laser, and 
took a seat across the fire from him. He 
stood to pour my coffee, and I noticed that 
his right arm was bandaged in a primitive 



sling. Evidently, he hadn't done a good job got to do with ne? n 



from me. You see, in the hands of good, 
it is dormant. However, if he were to 
get his hands on it it would release 

all the evil that mankind has ever 
known." 

"I still don't understand. Who is 
he?" 

The old man started gasping and 
his body was racked by? another spasm, of 
coughing. I reached over and picked 
up his coffee cup. I gently pressed it 
to his lips. He soon stopped coughing, 
but I noticed his breathing was labored. 
His voice was rough like sandpaper when 
he spoke again. "He, is the Devil! 
You see, every year on this day he is 
released from Hell. When he is releas- 
ed he seeks out the possessor of the Orb. 
Whoever possesses it must defeat him, 
in order to stop it from falling into the 
ownership of the Devil." 

I looked at him in disbelief. 
"You're crazy I Besides, what has that 



of stopping the bleeding. The nandages 
and the sling were soaked with blood. 

After he poured my coffee I sipped 
it and studied him. He was dressed plain- 
ly, in an animal skin shirt and leather 
pants. He also wore a long black cape. 
I would have guessed his age at about fif- 
ty. His face was weathered, and he looked 
like he hadn't shaved in a week. I could 



He stared at me for a few seconds 
before replying. "It is time for me to 
pass the Orb on. I am growing old, my 
reflexes are not what they used to be. 
I have served the Orb for the past thir- 
ty years. I received it here thirty 
years ago. So, it is only fitting that 
I pass it on here before I die." 



With that he grasped my hand and 
tell the man was intelligent though because pressed the q^ into it . His hands were 

there was no carbon build-up on his laser. 
He may not shave, but he cares for his 
weapon. 

I realized that my coffee cup was emp- 
ty and was about to fill it when he start- 
ed to speak to me. He said, "I've been 



waiting for you for about two hours. I 
didn't think that you would make it." 

"What are you talking about, Mr.?" 
I replied. 

"I knew you'd be coming, the Orb told 
me you would. The moment that I was wound- 



cold, but once he withdrew them I could 
feel a warmth emanating from the Orb. 

"Don't fight it. You don't have 
the timel Even as we speak 'he' ap- 
proaches. You should get some rest. 
You will need all of your strength. 
Take my cape. It will protect you." 

I knelt ky the old man, and gently 
removed his cape. He gripped my shoulder 
when I had the cape. "When you hear 
the dogs you will know he is here." 

I. stood up and walked to where I 



ed I knew my time was short." After saying had left dr ^ id horgeo T walked him 

I (~\ 1 «"> r\ y-i *"* +• -C— mi-*-*- -^ 4- •-. -J +- a M4»«a>*s-3 7-v. * +» 7-1 j~* ^—..tl rl 



this, he attempted to stand but he could- 
n't. He slumped to the ground and started 
hacking. I stepped around the fire and 
propped him up with his bedroll. He 
started coughing again, and I could see 
flecks of blood on his lips. I unbuttoned 
his shirt. His chest was covered with 
blood, coming from a wound just left of 
the sternum. 

I ripped off a piece of his shirt and 
used this to plug up the hole. He winced 
and' said, "Damn if that don't hurt. The 
old body aint what she used to be." 

"Old man, what were you saying before, 
about knowing that I would be coming? Who 
shot you?" 

The old man reached into his shirt and 
took out a small sphere. It was about the 
size of a marble. "This is the Orb of 
Evil!" he exclaimed. "Every year on this 
day we meet, and he attempts to take it 

-16- 



closer to the camp and removed my saddle 
and bedroll. Then I switched the horses 
alarm system and set his dial at rest. 
The horse lowered its mechanical head 
and appeared to sleep. I had turned 
his power down so that I wouldn't have 
to recharge his batteries. 

I laid my bedroll about fifteen 
feet from the fire. Before curling up 
in the bag to sleep, I checked the old 
man. His breathing seemed less labor- 
ed, and he was snoring. So I hit the 
hay. 

I tossed and turned for what seemed 
the entire night. However, when I awoke 
I realized that I had only been asleep 
for a few hours. I rolled over and no- 
ticed that the fire had burned down to 
embers. 

I got out of bed and began gather- 
ing wood for the fire. As I was doing 

(continued) 



The Orb, continued 



this I thought that I heard a barking in 
the distance,, I shrugged it off though 
and continued to gather wood,, 

Soon, I had the fire blazing and a 
fresh pot of coffee brewing. I was about 
to ask the old man if he wanted a cup when 
I heard the dogs again. This time, the 
first dog was joined by a second dog, and 
they were unmistakably getting closer. 

I dropped i,;/ cup and ran to the old 
man's bed. "Hurry, old man! They are 
coming!" I rolled him over. and realized 
that he was dead. I pulled a blanket over 
him and quickly crossed to my bedroll. 

I strapped on my laser pistol and the 
old man' s cape. I was about to roll up 
my bed when something caught my eye. Ly- 
ing on top of the bed was the Orb. I 
stared at it undecidedly until I heard the 
dogs again. They seemed to be just out- 
side of camp. 

I snatched it up in my hand and turn- 
ed. At the edge of camp there were two 
large black dogs with glowing eyes. The 
dogs moved apart slightly, and a tall fi- 
gure in a flowing red robe stepped in. 
He wore a hood that covered his face. All 
I could see were two glowing eyes, like 
the dogs. 

His voice sent a cold chill down my 
spine. "Boy, I've come for the Orb! Are 
you going to let me have it or will I have 
to take it?" 



I could feel the Orb heating up as 
I spoke. "I'm afraid that I can't just 
let you have it." 

He took a few steps to his right 
and spoke. "Look boy, I don't want to 
hurt you. How about if we make a deal? 
If you give me the Orb I promise to 
let you go without hurting you. What 
do you say?" 

I glanced at the motionless figure 
of the old man. I flipped my cape over 
my shoulder and smiled as I spoke, "Go 
to Hell!" 

The devil went for his laser. A 
fraction of a .second later my hand was 
a blur of motion as I palmed my laser. 
He was leveling his laser and staggered 
backwards. I fired again hitting him 
between the eyes. 

He dropped to one knee and then 
slowly rose to his feet. As he ro-^e his 
laser pistol flew from the ground .into 
his hand. We stood facing each other. 
He slowly hoistered ^ is pistol and walk- 
ed to the dogs at the edge of the camp. 

"You have defeated me this year. 
Maybe ne:ct year YOU will go to Hell in- 
stead of me." 

He disappeared in a cloud of blue 
smoke. I heard the howling of the dogs 
as they receeded into the darkness. Per- 
haps he was right. Maybe next year I 
would be in Hell. 



******** 



Judy Belfield 



AQUARIUS WAITING 



This blistering wind 

spits rainfire furiously in our faces — 

like a raging goddess 

bitching at the cosmos, 

her voice resounding 

to the far corners of Ganis Major, 

her effusion spluttering fiercely 

in infinite directions. 
This frenzied wind, 

ensnared by the trees, 

tears through their leafless limbs, 

howling like a rabid dog — 

a mad, ferocious wais 

that threatens to shatter 

all the crystal unicorns 

and leave great gaping voids 
in its wake. 
Have we no refuge from destruction? 
No Quasimodo to carry us to sanctuary? 
Or shall the tempest seize our fragile souls, 

like so many powder-winged moths, 
And hurl them back into the prehistoric pea, 

where they would, 

blindly, 

impale themselves 

upon the prongs of genocide! 



R» Walser Yale 



THE VICTORY 

Once upon a time 
In a land far away 
Lived a kingdom 
Of people — 
Children at play. 

The visitors there 
Found no sense 
In their smiles 

And soon dragged 
Out cannons 
Across the miles. 

"Cease to play, 
Or you'll smile no more." 
So the people 

Died. 

They couldn't play 
War. 



******** 



******** 



-17- 



Judy Belfield 



THE BA3TI0ITED BAROIIS 



The bastioned barons 

pent up in stone, 

trapped in their phallic columns — 

Ionic, Doric, Corinthian, whatever ~ 

stand and command 

the fealty of the rest. 
They are like colossal colonnades 

rising in formation, 

indivisible, 

against the sunset of a Parthenon sky 

yet their Golden Age lives on, 

while they speak of liberty and justice 

and tuck their bloodied buckses 

somewhere in Geneva* 
These rapscallion captains, 

with their caps tilted rakishly, 

affecting an air of commonness, 

plan the destruction of numbers 

which interfere with their balances 

and wait for the robots 

to come fill their coffers, 

so coffin-production may be accelerated. 
K Weed out, weed out!" 

they scream without words 

that fool most of the people 

most of the time. 
These are the times that pry men's souls, 

rip them out with pliers and crowbars, 

get rid of the excess, 

trim the overpopulation down 
to a stunning size five, 

so the zeroes multiply in the banks. 
Thse pillagers of society 

ravage the corpses 

that still twitch with the spasms 

of some desperately tenacious hold. 
And we grot? so old in our silence. 

******** 

Michael A. Stillman 
Z^-iMTSBSSIOMISS H&IKB 



R. Walser Yale 

DRY FACES FILL 

Dry faces fill 
My screen 
With conservative 
Doom and missiles 
Of economy. 

All their points 

Sticking deep 

In my veins 

To replace my blood 

With ice water. 

See the business 

At hand ~ 

The numbers, 

The plans, 

Shrewd dark-suited 

Smiles 

And all the while 

The fears of a nation 

Sleep and hide, 

Waiting for 

The fifteen year 

Backslide. 



wild geese in flight 
tomorrow's follow travellers 
on an unused path 

** 

easter island dawn 

sunlight' sings n granite brow 

tide rising again 

** 

the seagull gliding 

upon a sunlight wavecrest 

will you touch its cry? 

** 
beyond the flowers 
cicada touches leaf -dew 
and hpnrs only stars 



** 



Evangelical hope — 
I seek your light 
But I hear your 
Bitter cry: 


Arm 

A 

Geddon. 




******** 



earth's axis tilting 

bluegill trapped beneath white ice 

waits for greener times 



** 



your hand holds a disk 

the polished mirror of the moon 

how it becomes you 



** 



you: silly you that 

always wants the world to change, 

begin vn.th yourself i 



** 



5t-rt-*?l-;l-3l-Jv-J» 



-IS- 



Judy Bel field 



MIDAS WELL CAPITULATE 



• • 



Drop your drawers 

At the bureau of Inquiry — ■ 

A strip- search 

Is going to peel away 

That lacquer veneer. 

Those scarlet letters, 

Tied with ribbon, 

And hidden in the corner, 

Are about to be exposed,, 

Close the door -- 

It's abhorrent 

How they find your little treasures, 

Even buried fifty fathoms deep ~ 

Deep in the heart of Davy Jones, 

Who lives next door 

With the wife and kids, 

And can't keep up with the Smiths. 

Those bedroom sachets, 

All lavendar and oh-so-French-scented, 

Can be rented by the hour — 

Torn from the clock 

Like last month's calendar page 

In the Senate of Eternity — 

These, too, shall pass away, 

As they are examined, 

Cross-examined , 

And discarded 



By the wool-gathering states' attornej^s 
Out in the pastures of justice. 
Little do they know 
There are pies in the grass, 
And Charlie Chaplin's ready to fire 
On the Smith Brothers, 
Or Brother Smith, the chaplain. 
A Fort Sumter affair: 
"•Whit* txe^ - ***^^ 
And black tales of dead ra«n, 
Their waggling tongues rotting 
In the grave 

Like Old John Brown's body. 
A nose is a nose, 
And by any other name, 
Would smell — 

Would sniff like a disgusting dog, 
Poking itself 

Into unsuspecting crevices. 
And so you ask if anything 's sacred, 
And well you may — 
But all you'll hear In reply 
Is the echo of your own voice: 
You are a churchmouse 
In the Cathedral of Saint Absurdity, 
And a trap's been set 
For your reserves. 



******** 



R«, Walser Yale 



Judy Belfield 



HIM 



PROPHETS AND LOST 



Nailed on a cross 
Left for dead 
Tight crown of thorns 
Forced onto 
His head. 

Spit upon 

Beaten 

Denied 

And destroyed. 

The truth 
Is something 
We love 
To avoid. 

Y'All 
******** 



►~vtf»(P * « ■ 



Invest a. lifetime dime 

£n* systematized* credo© 

which promise immortality — 
Let your mind dip 

into the Wall Street pandemonium 

of souls, 
and and gods, 

where the moneychangers guarantee profits, 

seers tell of gains in some other world, 

and brokers predict doom and gloom 
for all who will not b^r in. 
Listen to the Pharisees, 

hear the words that gush 

from their silver- spooned mouths — 

but remember the newsreels of 1929 

when the pie in the sky hit the pavement 
from twenty-fifth floor windows, 
And xronder — 

always wonder ... 



*5WrvWr>V«wV 



David Moore 



GARBLED GRANDEUR 
(HOMEWARD BOUND) 



Wave after wave 

Of charging solar cells 
Bashing inward through dark doorways 
Twirling dizzily beyond bleakness 
Devouring dawnjess domains 

(continued) 



'*> 



*y* .*■■*» --m*** * *" 



-19- 



Garbled Grandeur, continued 



Scalding mortal remains 
Scouring gory drains ... 

... Begin the chant, Gregor! 

Twisting serpents sing with glee 
Dancing vapors merrily 
Moonlight glistens off grubby waves 
Prophets wail from open graves 
Winged lizards flying free 
Soaring silent, open seas 
Waving, screaming life they crave 
Seeking softly to deprave 
Awful armchairs burning bright 
Grossly goading churning fright 
Laughing boulders in the sky 
Happy aardvark gonna die 
Cruel maws just out of sight 
Grinning teeth and candlelight 
Glass elixirs never fly 
Golden girls are very shy 
Shoot to kill and many more 
All this mess is a bloody bore 



Hateful banshees scream like dogs 
Sinking slowly in sour bogs 
Listen softly to forgotten lore 
Hiding, hiding the wounds are sore 
Look down south at giant frogs 
Munching, crunching rotting logs 

"You're going mad," the doctor said 

So I smashed him on the head 

The brain was grey 

And I must say 

Never, never go all the way! 

Ad Astra?? 



P.S. I'm the captian of my soul 

Flowing, flox/ing with the glow 



"k^rkkirkirk-k 



Adriane Saylor 



R. Walser Yale 



THE WIND AND I 

I walk out into the black dream of Creation, 

as mere and humble under this scowl as the trees, 

but 

I do not bow down* 

She digs in with spurs, this creature howling 

at the windows like a tiger, 

her thin hands race along the panes of glass 

and try in vain to root me from £jy place, 

but, 

I will not be moved, I am a statue under 

her steely-eyed gaze. 

Instead, I turn and look directly into 

the great gash that has opened gray above me, 

and though she shows me her ugliest side, 

I do not turn away. 

With painful acuity, I probe this moan, 

make it my own and spit it back at these 

slate colored columns of anger,, 

We stand, the shadow, and her daughter, 

born in an alchemic mitosis and abandoned 

on the doorstep of the world. 

I hug the warmth of black wool and turn coldly 

to the business of being othex" than the storm, 

and not quite of the world**. 

-kJ<rirkk-k-krk 



Dob Frederick 

SUNDAY MORNING 

Your smile 

supple as a dancer 
it glides across your face 

shows a thousand thoughts 
then gone without a trace. 



KITES OF MARCH 

March arrived 
Confused as ever — 
Turned on children 
With chapped face smiles 
Flying kites 
Despite the clouds. 

Down in the park 
A beautiful 
Long-haired child 
Played — 
Softly radiant 
Multicolored kite 
Just lightly drifting 
In the pre-April sky. 

So to the park, 
Clear blue kite 
In hand, 
This child ran 
To place it high 
In the windy skies 
Of love. 

Moved by her softly 

Radiant colors, 

He sent his kite up 

For the girl to see — 

So high it kissed 

Infinity. 

In the sky's 
Abrupt azure 
Transparency 
His blue kite 



Became a rainbow. 



(continued) 



"k^rkMrk^rk 



-20- 



Kites Of March, continued 



"Up here girl, 
I'm waiting — 
Can't I bring 
Your kite along?" 

But the winds of March 
The winds of love 
For this girl 
Grew too strong: 

"If I let it out 
It may blow ax/ay, 
Never to return. 
You see — 
Controlling kites 



In the stiff March winds 

Is a skill I've yet to learn." 

Then the wind died, 
And the clouds grew 
And through them fell 
A kite of blue 
Realities. 

So March is leaving now — 

Confused as ever. 

Two confused children 

Trying to fly ♦ 

Separate kites 

In the same grey sky. 



°rC?C^i, KT&kyCVS 



Ernest McCabe 



David Moore 



A CARNIVOROUS FANTASY 



THE FALL AND DECLINE OF THI 
EMPIRE 



SPRINGTIME 



Spring has long since past 

No splendor or adornment remains 

The trees stand huddled, stripped 

Of life. The asthmatic vampire 

Of impending winter has sunk 

His wicked fangs deep into 

The necks of the trees and 

Drained their life into coffers 

Deep below. 

The harsh naked limbs with 

Their bony fingers scratch 

The sky or rattle on some 

Vacant xrf.ndow pane. 



Mr. Greenwings is the ruler of the 

crystal veldt 
An insectoid entity whose essence is 
wrapped in a 
sophisticated, glimmering exoskeleton 
His form sprouts intricate, black- veined 
sky- sails 
that propel this exotically bizarre 
being 
above his haunted domain 
Multi-faceted rainboxtf optical sensors partake 

of the contours ******** 

below 
They magnify every detail „ » , f 

grossly distorting the insignificant 

into undeserved vastness 
But only in this way can the certainty of spotting the prey be assured 
And at last it is located 
A massive lumberlord undulating amongst the weeping vegetation 

growing in the forgotten forest 
Mr. Greenwings lunges 

a shrieking dive whose vibrations seem to 
shatter the local 

space/ time reality 

like a brittle 

wineglass 
The hopeless lumberlord quivers and writhes 

in unmentionably unbearable agony 

as its neuro-system is liquified 
Diamond hard talons of black onyx rip into this nullified biological mass 

liberating vaporous life-force into the spiritual environment 
And once again the ruler of the crystal veldt 
draws sustenance from his helpless subjects. 

******** 



R. Walser Yale 



PRIMORDIAL REUNIONS 



One bright winter 

Afternoon 

(The sun- seemed high 

So did l) 



-21- 



Friends 
In nature, 
In a sudden 
Magical 
Excitability 



(continued) 



Primordial Reunions, continu* 



strolled into the woods 

For a reunion 
With the primordial 



ignoring 
Sacriligious 

Keep out signs 

And barbed wire 

We climbed up a hill 
(Through an ancient 
Snow covered cemeter3* 
Trying to read 
The quiet weathered 
S tones 

We laughed 

At the thought 

Of curcing drivers 

Spinning their wheels 

Over paved woods 

Han had never been 

Where we were — 

Here in God's pla3 T ground 

Sprinting after energetic 

Life. 

We came upon 

A more serious threat 

KEE? OFF 

And rustier wire — 

Further sacrilege. 

We crossed 

A Little xine of trees. 

Here now was man 

At his best. 

The overgro^jn 
Foundational remains 
Of some strange 
Sexrage plant 

Pipes in the ground 
And ancient brick, 

Broken glass. 
There beneath 
The trash, 
The foot printed, 
Dropping ed white — 
Irridescent green. 

Quite a beautiful scene. 

Fan tas ttcally 

Broken, 

Decayed. 



Crossing another hill 

Swinging 
Between limbs 
We found nore 
Relics — 
Orange, brown 
Hollow drums 



Some junk man's 

Paradise. 

Piles of antiquity 

Seething 'with life. 

How long ago 

Had it crept here 

To live and die 

Forever? 

Ghost farmers 

Bundled against the cold 

Pushed dead 

And living plows 

Here in the quiet 

Of the wooded field. 

How here 

We had found 

A cut open barrel 

Turned on its side 
Half filled with 
Ice. 

There in the ice, 

Submerged, 

Head down, 

Last breaths 

Frozen 

Into tiny pearls 

Lay a rabbit 

Waiting '£ov spring. 

We marveled 

At his patience 

And repose. 

We stroked 

The esrposed fur 

Of his young back. 

Poor little rabbit 
Waiting for spring. 

Our reunion 

With the primordial 

Over 

We quietly 

Worked our way 

rO»fc of the trees. 



T^MtiSTt-.*.*^- 



-22- 



Judy Bel field 

THE COSMIC CONTINUUM 

She is an old, old woman, 
too old, perhaps, 

yet she empties her womb continually of daylighto 
Her arms are weary 

of holding stars, 

and though her breasts are withered, 

she suckles ancient children 

who are unable to wean themselves — 

unable, yet, to crawl from their cribs of space,, 
The drear old woman, 

whom Time has kissed so tenderly, 
sits and knits the darkness 
- as thousandfold babes coo ••■• • -. " ■- ._... 

and blfinlc their eyes, 

blankets of infinity tucked under their chins, 
and a lullabye begins 

in an old, old throat — 

the same she sang 

at the firstborn* s first night of dreaming • . . 
and, oh, she is so tired of days 

that drag her raggedly 

toward an end she cannot see 

and hasn't courage to think of. 
She bides the ages languorously, 

and tends her chores fastidiously, 
though more slowly now than 

once upon a billion years ago. 
And you and I 

are chained to the rain 

in this infinitesimal spot 

cut out of an All we cannot comprehend, 

and, therefore, do not think of charting courses 

that end at end 

in the grand design — 
while the old xroman gives birth to light 

and weaves the darkness 

century after century after century* 



» Adriane Saylor * • -~~ •-, 

t * 

LAMENT 

Under the cold earth, wet with rain 
and windtoosed with the leaves of a thousand 
seasons , 

she sleeps, so still in her cocoon* 
She sleeps on through the centuries, 
uncaring of world changes, for her world 
never changes, and her heart, old and wormy 
beats no more with the love that brought her 
warm and untimely to this cold bed* 
Her lips pucker for the eternal kiss, 
and her hands hold the scepter end orb of rule, 
but only the beetles and grubs touch her molded skin 
and she rules nothing but shadows. 
She waits, for that time when like the moon, 
she will rise, cold and round and luxuriantly dazzling 
before the eyes of men and tantalize them once more. 
She will climb over the dust and out of the yawn *f her grave 
and cast away the shards of death, meeting her lover once more. 
Forever has she loved and forever has she waited for this man 
Who darkens the stars above her and gives reason to her awakening. 
She comes, a breath on the storm, posing in the moonlight 
as deadly as a cobra, thinking: 

how long has this hunger slept in me, how long have I 
sought this s\/eet embrace? 

-23- 






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